Antibiotics linked to Parkinson’s disease

Higher exposure to commonly used oral antibiotics is linked to an increased risk of Parkinson's disease, according to a study which suggests the neurodegenerative disorder may be tied to the loss of beneficial gut bacteria, as reported by The Week.

The report detailed a study which showed that the use of certain antibiotics can upset the balance of your gut microbiome and, as a result, predispose people to Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's disease is a neurological disorder in which neurons and dopamine-producing cells in your brain begin to die. Symptoms progress over time and include tremors, slow movements, rigid limbs, shuffling gait, stooped posture and an inability to move. Patients may also experience a reduced ability to make facial expressions.

While patients suffer significant physical disability, Parkinson’s may also trigger depression, speech impediments and personality changes. There is also an association with dementia. The disease affects as many as 7 million to 10 million adults worldwide, and approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's every year.

Diagnosis usually occurs after brain cells have already been affected and died, making it more difficult to slow the progression of the disease. If doctors are able to detect the condition earlier, it might positively impact treatment.

For decades, there has been no known cause of Parkinson’s. But this new research may challenge that notion, since it supports the theory that the disease may originate in the cells in your gut and travel to the brain via a cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem down to your abdomen.

Your gut is a key player in your overall health and plays a leading role in your risk of chronic conditions such as Parkinson’s, heart disease, obesity, sleep problems and depression.

You can improve your gut health and replenish your beneficial bacteria by eliminating sugar, adopting a ketogenic diet and eating plenty of healthy fiber-rich foods. Water fasting or intermittent fasting for at least 16 hours can also support and benefit your immune system.

Although incidence of the disease increases with age, an estimated 4% of those with Parkinson's are diagnosed before the age of 50. Men are 1.5 times more likely to have Parkinson's than women, and treatment can be expensive. Medications can average $2,500 a year, while therapeutic surgery may cost up to $100,000 per patient.

Another study revealed 11 pesticides that increase your risk of Parkinson’s disease even with very low-level exposure — levels lower than are currently being used.

People with a certain common gene variant had a two to six times greater risk of developing Parkinson’s disease when exposed to pesticides. The risk of Parkinson’s disease clearly increases with exposure to certain environmental toxins, such as pesticides. These potent toxins — pesticides, herbicides and fungicides — could cause disruptions or damage to the neurological system, including your brain.

Minimizing your exposure to pesticides — around your home, in your community and via your diet — is another important way to lower your risk of Parkinson’s.

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By Dr Joseph Mercola / Physician and author

Dr. Joseph Mercola has been passionate about health and technology for most of his life. As a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO), he treated thousands of patients for over 20 years.

Dr. Mercola finished his family practice residency in 1985. Because he was trained under the conventional medical model, he treated patients using prescription drugs during his first years of private practice and was actually a paid speaker for drug companies.

But as he began to experience the failures of the conventional model in his practice, he embraced natural medicine and found great success with time-tested holistic approaches. He founded The Natural Health Center (formerly The Optimal Wellness Center), which became well-known for its whole-body approach to medicine.

In 1997, Dr. Mercola integrated his passion for natural health with modern technology via the Internet. He founded the website to share his own health experiences and spread the word about natural ways to achieve optimal health. is now the world’s most visited natural health website, averaging 14 million visitors monthly and with over one million subscribers.

Dr. Mercola aims to ignite a transformation of the fatally flawed health care system in the United States, and to inspire people to take control of their health. He has made significant milestones in his mission to bring safe and practical solutions to people’s health problems.

Dr. Mercola authored two New York Times Bestsellers, The Great Bird Flu Hoax and The No-Grain Diet. He was also voted the 2009 Ultimate Wellness Game Changer by the Huffington Post, and has been featured in TIME magazine, LA Times, CNN, Fox News, ABC News with Peter Jennings, Today Show, CBS’s Washington Unplugged with Sharyl Attkisson, and other major media resources.

Stay connected with Dr. Mercola by following him on Twitter. You can also check out his Facebook page for more timely natural health updates.

(Source:; December 3, 2019;
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